We bought a house which has an outside boiler that is inoperable due to the tank freezing. I can repair but filling the boiler with 100 gallons of antifreeze is too expensive.

Sodium chloride would be cheap, but is too corrosive.

Calcium Magnesium Acetate is also cheap (sidewalk deicer), non corrosive, but cannot find much about solubility (partially soluble).

Potassium acetate is soluble, non corrosive, with good freezing point depression; however uncommon. Can it be made cheaply enough for 100 gallons not to freeze at -20F? Vinegar + potassium carbonate.


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    $\begingroup$ Did you consider that corrosiveness of the solutions you suggested may be larger at higher temperatures (as use in a boiler would imply)? Getting your solution to be pH-neutral or at least tolerable for the boiler may prove difficult given that cheap ingredients may spell uncertainty about purity and content. $\endgroup$
    – TAR86
    Oct 27 '17 at 12:19
  • $\begingroup$ What's your budget? That will impact the suggestions. $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Oct 27 '17 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ What type of steel is your boiler made of? $\endgroup$
    – Beerhunter
    Nov 1 '17 at 7:51

I know that in Switzerland, sugar is used instead of salt to clear snow from roads as being efficient, more ecological and less corrosive than salt. In Montreal, beet juice is used for the same reasons. Sugar however costs more than salt.

I let you check if sugar can suit your needs.

See these two articles in French: http://www.caradisiac.com/En-Suisse-on-ne-sale-plus-les-routes-on-les-sucre-62195.htm and http://www.lenouvelliste.ch/articles/lifestyle/techno-et-sciences/quebec-le-jus-de-betterave-revolutionne-le-deneigement-des-routes-485118


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